Dental FAQs

How many teeth does a dog have?

The average adult dog has 42 teeth.


How many teeth does a cat have?

The average adult cat has 30 teeth.


My adult dog still has a puppy tooth, will it fall out? Do I need it removed?

Unfortunately, the puppy tooth will need to be removed. The tooth has become retained and will not fall out on its own. This tooth may become crowed and irritated if left where it does not belong.


Why does my pet need to go under anesthesia for a dental cleaning?

Unlike humans, pets don’t seem to be too happy about holding their mouth open for a full mouth examination. We also can’t explain to your pet what is going on during a dental. It would be pretty scary to see a probe coming at your mouth and not know why. We also like to assure we can get to every inch of your pet’s mouth and keep our fingers safe.


I’ve heard of non-anesthetic dentals, can you do that?

Unfortunately, doing a dental cleaning without anesthesia really isn't cleaning or helping your pets teeth.  During an 'anesthesia free dental', only one surface of the tooth will have tartar scraped off using a sharp instrument.  This can not only be painful to your pet, but also can etch the surface (enamel) of the tooth. The etching now provides a nice place for plaque to take hold and form tartar faster.   With this type of procedure your pet is left with most of the tooth untouched and not clean, including areas below the gumline.  Any loose teeth or damaged teeth will be very painful to clean this way and is not recommended for any pet .


Why do you recommend my pet have pre-anesthetic blood work done before the dental?

We want to make sure there are no hidden problems that could affect your pet’s ability to undergo the procedure. Anesthesia gets metabolized by the liver and kidneys, so if your pets organs are compromised in any way they will be at risk and may have a rougher recovery.  We get a lot of information from running bloodwork and it will give you peace of mind that you are giving the best possible care to your pet. We offer different levels of blood work depending on your pet’s age and current health.  Please let us know if you have any questions regarding bloodwork for your pet.


Is there risk or complications associated with a dental?

There are risks with every time a patient goes under anesthesia. Our doctor and nurses are trained to look for possible complications and know how to prevent them. Pre-anesthetic blood work is a big help to understand if a patient is healthy enough to go under anesthesia.  We monitor your pets heart rate and rhythm, respiratory rate, oxygen levels, blood pressure, and temperature during the entire procedure.  Your pet has a great risk of having a complication from an unhealthy mouth than from going under anesthesia.


How long will this procedure take?

A cleaning takes about a half an hour. It can be longer if dental x-rays are needed. Each extraction takes extra time too. But we make sure your pet is completely comfortable and safe during the entire procedure and during anesthesia recovery. 


Will my pet need extractions?

Extractions may be needed depending on the severity of your pet’s oral condition. Sometimes it is hard to see if a pet will need extractions at your initial exam. After taking the tartar off the tooth and taking a dental x-ray can provide an insight to how healthy a tooth is or lead us to recommend that tooth be extracted.


Can my pet eat dry food after having an extraction?

Your pet’s mouth may be tender after an extraction. To assure we don’t cause your pet any unnecessary pain we recommend feeding your pet soft food until the extraction sight heals. If your pet is not used to canned food we suggest soaking your pet’s dry food in warm water for 10-15 minutes prior to feeding.


Will my pet need pain medication after a dental?

We do prescribe medications for pets that have had extractions. Just like you need medication after a tooth pulled!


How long is recovery?

Without extractions your pet should be back to normal within a day or two. If your pet has had extractions it may take your pet up to a week or two to feel back to normal.


After a dental cleaning, how can I keep my pets teeth clean?

Brushing your pets teeth daily and feeding a dental specific food can make a huge difference in your pet’s overall oral health.  We will send you home with some helpful information.


After a dental, my pet’s breath still smells, why?

Many factors can influence your pet’s breath. Bad breath can come from the bacteria in your pet’s mouth, but can also come from various medical problems. Kidney issues, diet and stool eating can also cause bad breath.


What happens if I don’t get my pets teeth clean?

Poor dental health can affect your pet’s entire system, affecting areas such as the nervous system, lungs, kidneys, liver and heart.


How much will a dental cost?

Dental cleanings seem like an added cost. Caught early, dental problems are easy to fix and a lot cheaper. Neglected, they can turn into serious, costly, painful problems. A rough estimates for a dental cleaning for a dog would be anywhere just over $200 to just under $300 without any extractions.  For cats, the estimate would be somewhere between about $250 to $350 without any extractions.   We can give you a better estimate after we see your pet before scheduling the dental cleaning procedure.